SABARIMALA: An unprecedented rush of pilgrims was witnessed for darshan at the Lord Ayyappa temple here on Wednesday despite security restrictions imposed by the police. A jampacked queue was witnessed at various points when the temple was opened at 3.30 am. Thousands of pilgrims underwent stringent security restrictions at various points, including at valiyanadapandal before climbing the holy steps.
The police had imposed curbs on pilgrims for ‘neyyabhishekam’. Only those in queue were allowed. Strict security restrictions were imposed at Pampa and the pilgrims were allowed to climb the trekking path only through Neelimala-Appachimedu-Sabaripeedom to reach the sannidhanam. An additional number of metal detectors was installed at the entrance of the Pampa Lord Ganapathi temple at nadapandal, on the steps before the mandapam, sreekovil, and near the mandapam of Pandalam Raja.X-ray screening machines were installed to check baggage and carry-bags of the pilgrims as part of tightening security measures.
Spl Commissioner faults Forest Dept
Kochi: The Sabarimala Special Commissioner on Wednesday filed a report before the Kerala High Court highlighting the impediments created by the Kerala Forest Department to the smooth functioning of the KSRTC depot at Pampa. The Commissioner also sought a directive to the Forest Department not to create hindrances to KSRTC buses in using the same space as in previous years for parking.KSRTC has been operating approximately 360 bus services and 600 trips of the Pampa-Nilackal chain services from the Pampa depot for the past several years. But forest officers are apparently creating trouble for the smooth functioning of the KSRTC.